Stupid Questions (A Word on Politics)

But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.

-Titus 3:9

There it is: Biblical proof that there are stupid questions, rather there are foolish questions. However, the word foolish in the original Greek is μωρός(mōros), meaning “moron”. It stems from the Greek word μυστήριον(mystērion), meaning “To shut the mouth”. In other words, the word “foolish” essentially means, “That’s stupid. Shut up.”. I apologize, obviously that’s a very harsh, but Biblically, there is such a thing as a stupid question. What is a stupid question? Well, to me, a stupid question is one that you already know the answer to. If someone asked me if I had my keys, or if I had a Sharpie, those would be stupid questions. 

For the past three years I haven’t gone a day without a Sharpie on my person, and since I got my bus key at 16, I haven’t been without it. Those are stupid questions to me because those who ask already know the answers, thus the question serves no purpose. However, that isn’t the kind of foolish questions that Paul is talking about here. A stupid question to Paul is not only one that someone already knows the answer to, but it’s one that is intentionally asked to waste the time of both parties involved.

Here is some verse context to get you into the mode of what Paul is trying to say.

This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
Titus 3:8

Paul asks Titus, who is in Crete, to affirm constantly to the Church that they would be careful to maintain good works. In other words, Paul wants the Church at Crete to show evidence of Christ in them. The point of this verse is the last statement: “These things are good and profitable unto men.”

Then in verse nine, he is warning of distractions that would pull us away from that commission to do good works. Things like foolish questions: questions whose answers would not benefit anyone, whose asking serves only to waste the time of anyone involved, and whose purpose is to gender strife and contention. The other major thing he warns against is striving about the law: for they are unprofitable and vain.

Striving a about the law in Bible times is the equivalent of political talk today. Talk that pollutes social media with negative opinions, slams, and promotions for candidates. Talk that ensnares brothers and sisters in hostile or meaningless arguments about laws, candidates, or the moral status of our country. All of this is vain and unprofitable to any end. Sure, I’ll agree that conversing is the easiest means of solving issues between people, but the majority of these comments and conversations are not personal and serve only to gender strife and contention amongst a large group of social addicts.

My advice, if you have something specific and personal to say about what someone else believes or is intending to do with their vote, take it up with that person in a private conversation. Facebook, and Twitter, and other such large-scale social media sites are not for the purpose of starting arguments and pointless strivings about the law which serve only to waste the time of everyone involved. Much of the conversation will not change anyone’s opinion or conviction, and will certainly not help the cause of any particular candidate.

These kinds of things: stupid questions, political talk, they are unprofitable and unbiblical. They are distractions from our calling and are hurting our Christian witness. What do you think that the secular world thinks when they see Christians openly squabbling about politics on social sites? What are we doing but trying to get a rise out of someone and stir up some controversy somewhere?

I don’t believe it’s wrong to support your candidate–that does not include slamming others to promote your own–, but, if your going to flirt with politics, may it be only as far as concerns your personal convictions about candidates. Carnal opinion and fleshly desires to tear down, backstab, and create strife among the brethren should be shunned. We need to focus on our calling in Christ, doing good works for His kingdom sake and showing His love by our love for each other.

So, there is such thing as a stupid question, and personal politics are unprofitable to the kingdom. Strengthen your witness and your spiritual walk, avoid both of these things and devote your time to Christ rather than the world.

As always, thanks for reading.

–the anonymous novelist

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